Censorship by bol.com© 27 August 2020 Marthijn Uittenbogaard
Bol.com is, like Amazon, a giant store on the internet. They sell electronica, games, merchandise, you name it. They also sell books. Almost every book that is available they sell. Wait. No, that’s not true. They have more and more books placed on a black list, because what is written in it, is ‘bad’ for you to read. Books for gay people with conversion therapies in it, are now banned on bol.com.
Some would say that this is very positive. Books with racism in it, books with homophobia in it: all gone from bol.com. Why promote these bad thoughts? The problem with all censorship is the same: the censor thinks for all of us. In the 1950s, progressive books about homosexuality would be banned by bol.com. They censor stuff because they think the content is awful, but it is far more likely they only ban content because it hurts their company financially. If selling gay conversion therapy books keep generating negative coverage, then maybe gay people, that are proud to be gay, will go look for another company to buy their stuff. Money is big companies' main (or only) drive in our capitalistic society.
When bol.com decided to ban books with Zwarte Piet (Blackface Pete), many people started tweeting to the Twitter account of bol.com, suggesting to ban more books. Someone suggested to ban the book De andere kant van de medaille (The Other Side Of The Coin) by Hans Visser. Hans Visser is a famous Dutch pastor who wrote a nuanced book about pedophilia. In this book he did not speak in favor of sex with children below the age of twelve. He only suggested that above this age, maybe there should be a bit more freedom concerning youth sexuality: between youths or between a youth and someone (much) older. He also, in this book, discussed the findings of a research done by Rind, Bauserman and Tromovitch. The book was a result of a meeting organized by Hans Visser in his church where Bruce Rind - among others - spoke about his research. Bol.com responded: we will investigate this book. Some days later the book was banned. I also searched for the name Edward Brongersma, finding that his books are banned too. Only one book I could find, but this one was written by multiple people, including Brongersma. I searched some other books too, dealing with pedophilia as a topic in a nuanced way, and they were also gone. It is not because they are sold out, because bol.com also offers second hand books that are sold by so called third parties.
With the ban on all nuanced books with the truth (scientific results) about pedosexual contacts, in the end the people telling or writing the truth are prosecuted. Well, this is already taking place in The Netherlands. I am one of the very few people defending freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech, a society can more easily slide into a totalitarian society. History repeats itself, because the same mistakes are made again. With the same silence surrounding it, which is also a huge mistake.
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